Karen's Personal Experience on Oral Dexamethasone
I chime in often to advise members to use IV Dexamethasone, "off label" on gasping, fading or stressed neonates and I have many times stated I have used it on many puppies over the years, both mine and other breeders.
My experience using Dexamethasone orally on my dog Simon - a 13 year old Jack Russell Terrier I bred and whelped. He came from a litter of 6, no issues when he was born but quickly started fading. No matter what I did, he wouldn't stay pink / he would turn ashen or almost blue. Back then I had Dopram around for emergencies and I used it (its a respiratory stimulant) but it couldn't hold him. My vet was away at a conference but called me later that night: "You must have Dex in the house, use that". I hadn't thought of it as he was born normal and was one of the larger pups. For those that do not know, Dexamethasone lubricates the tiny air sacs in the lungs to allow a puppy to breathe freely.
As I have told many in group, even full term puppies can have an insufficient amount of surfactant in the lungs which causes the tiny air sacs to become sticky and the puppies begin to shallow breathe and fade. Simon came to visit us today and I was reminded of his issues. I have seen many of the puppies, now adults that oral Dex had helped and wanted to share with anyone worried about using a steroid in a neonate. I have heard some comment it isn't safe or studies need to be done on long term effects.... I have studied this maybe more than others / I thought others would like to see a wonderful family pet that wouldn't be here without Oral Dex.
My personal experience using this drug:
- use a drop or two on the tongue -
- every 30 minutes or sooner , if needed
- every 4 hours (every other feeding)
- every 4 to 6 hours
- every 12 hours
** I have done all of these in different situations. always evaluate the puppy after some time to decide what treatment to use and consult your veterinarian when possible.